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Community Spotlight: Baileys Harbor's Kari Baumann

Baileys Harbor’s Kari Baumann started her march towards Madison because of her son Grady, but she has pulled along many other kids and their families along the way. The journey started well before she sat in front of the Assembly and Senate Committees on Education earlier this fall.  After struggling to get the help her son needed so he could read better as he fought dyslexia, she spent thousands of dollars and 18 weeks in Illinois to get him a little bit closer to where he needed to be.  She could have stopped there, but she did not. Her work with Decoding Dyslexia-Wisconsin and other reading advocacy groups led to progress across the state. Governor Tony Evers approved a measure developing a dyslexia guidebook to provide guidance for students, teachers, and parents trying to get a handle on the challenge. School districts have changed their approach to teaching reading as a result. This month, Gov. Evers vetoed Assembly Bill 446 and Senate Bill 454 which would have provided more tools to help identify students dealing with poor reading abilities and a road map on how to get them back on track. Baumann is frustrated it did not pass, but she is happy with the change she has been able to foster through her work.

Baumann hopes her journey with Grady helps more parents have the courage to ask questions and become more involved in their children’s education. You can listen to our full interview with Baumann at this link.

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